tv Martin Bashir MSNBC September 28, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
>> they believe they're entitled. >> that doesn't add up to much, governor. >> lap dog liberals. >> the left based mainstream media. >> has the obama campaign ep gauged in character assassinati assassination. >> oh sure. >> i'm not familiar with precisely exactly what i said but i stand by what i said whatever it was. we begin this friday with no shortage of confidence from mitt romney even as his ineptember draws to a close with more bad news for the republican nominee. this time it's in the form of nine polls in nine battleground states with the president leading all nine. now, in britain 999 is the number to call for the emergency services, and mr. romney might consider doing the same with the president now leading nine swing states by an average of six
points consistent with his national average. the three newest battleground polls show yet more evidence of mr. romney's september slump. north carolina, the president up by two. nevada, the president up by two. even new hampshire, site of one of mr. romney's many luxury homes, the president leading by seven points. but what about all that jet skiing? well, never fear, mitt's hard at work doing what he does best, attending a fund-raiser today at philadelphia's union club. here it is, looks quite posh. i guess it should be at $50,000 a plate. wait a minute, no, sorry, that's wrong. that's a mistake. that was actually from "trading places," the firm of duke & duke. here is the actual video. let's listen to mr. romney on his chances in the keystone state. >> on november 6th i'm going to win pennsylvania and i'm going to become the next president of
the united states. >> okay. just to clarify, the romney campaign is running no ads whatsoever in pennsylvania. mr. romney is down 12 points in "the new york times" poll this week. pennsylvania is not in play. i guess that's why tonight he'll head up to battleground massachusetts. yes, another fund-raiser. this time with the president of the new england patriots, son of the patriots owner. good thing that strike is over. could be a bit awkward collecting 75 grand a plate. if you're wondering why mitt romney isn't complaining in, say, florida, it may be that mitt romney never, ever wants to cibo se see boca raton again. case in point, vice president joe biden in boca raton this afternoon who had a quite different view of the 47%. >> these people are fighting
back with every single thing they have. i don't sense any sense of dependency. they're just looking for a little opportunity, a level playing field, a fair shot. my dad used to say, joey, i don't expect the government to solve my problems but i do expect them to understand my problems. >> did i mention that mitt romney will be fund-raising up in chestnut hill? let's get to our handle. in washington eugene robinson, pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post," and here in new york msnbc political analyst jonathan alter who is a columnist for the bloomberg view. eugene, i have taken the trouble of going back over a number of your columns written during this campaign, and here is what you say about mr. romney in no particular order. the candidate, you say, he's robotic, unknowable, ideologically incoherent, severely out of touch,
contemptuous, and condescending. so i guess you won't be on his christmas card list this year, but does this explain why mr. romney's star is now fading? >> now, let me tell you what i really think, martin. >> thank you. >> no, look, as a candidate he leaves a lot to be desired, and you're hearing that not just from me today. you're hearing it from other republicans who are complaining in print and on the airwaves about -- or asking the question, well, why doesn't romney do this or why doesn't romney do that. romney is romney. mitt is mitt, and, you know, we knew there was -- that the field was weak. we talked about it all spring during the republican primaries, and the weak field, surprise, surprise, produced a pretty weak candidate. >> jonathan, when mitt romney went to london, one tabloid newspaper described hip as mitt the twit, but we're also hearing
that romney may be the victim because the republican party has hewn so far to the right that it's simply impossible for him to win the base of his party and win independence within the electorate. is that fair? >> you know, i don't really think it is. i mean, i agree that the republican party has moved far from the right and it would have taxed any politician to get back to the center, but he was his own worst enemy during the primaries. he didn't have to go to the right of newt gingrich and rick perry on immigration to win that nomination. if he had come out and, you know, said that he was for the dream act sort of the way gingrich did, he still would have gone on to win the nomination and now he would be in a position -- >> you think so? >> -- to compete for latino votes, but he's not a skillful enough politician to anticipate that, and all he can do is say whatever is necessary to get him through the day. this comes out of his experience in the business community where, you know, all he did when he
went in and closed these deals is say whatever was necessary to close the deal no matter whether it was true or not and then he'd negotiate about it later, you know, after he took over the company. so this is the world he comes out of, and it just does not equip him for politics. here is the other thing that i think has been missed in the last couple days is there's been some, you know, journalism that says, well, okay, he's not equipped for politics but he'd be a good president. no. if you're a bad politician, you're not going to be a good president either. >> right. eugene, as a top romney official tells politico today, lousy candidate, highly qualified to be president, just as john was saying. the candidate suit fits him unnaturally. he's naturally an executive. their headline, in the end it's mitt. i guess that confirms both of you in the sense that this man may have been a good businessman, but he's neither a good politician and he certainly
wouldn't make a good president. >> i think not, martin. i mean, the skills and habits of a ceo are not those that one really needs in the white house. it's all about -- you know, you have to bring along congress. you have to bring along the country. you have to get stuff done. >> you have to have some policies and you have to win people's support. >> exactly. and you can't just say, well, it's going to be this way and it's going to be that way and you can't just, you know, change strategy on a whim or because you read the latest management gurus latest book. it doesn't work that way, and i think we would have seen that if it were at all likely that mitt romney would become the next president. i think it's becoming less likely and i think that's a good thing for the country. >> okay. john, some on the right, of course, the polling and stuff is a complete hoax, and fox news'
chris wallace for one is fed up with it all. listen to this. >> what do you mean that romney is in trouble? what, because of this poll manipulation crap? >> let me just say something. this poll stuff is -- the criticism of the polls is craziness. i actually did some research on this today, which is more than you've done. >> so mr. wallace has obviously been doing his rervesearch. >> chris wallace is a journalist. he's not trying to salvage any argument he can for mitt romney. you know -- >> but his questioner referred to this polling crap. >> look, wallace is actually trying to introduce some facts to fox news from time to time. i'm not defending all of his journalism. but what has intruded into the process is a disregard for basic facts. you have people like dick morris on the air saying he would win by five points if the election were today. is he smoking something? >> that's a very good question.
we can't confirm that. we have pictures live of the president speaking at a campaign event in washington, d.c. eugene, perhaps romney should try disappearing for a while, then he might become as popular as george w. bush because shock, horror, as it stands now, the former president is actually more popular than mitt romney, though they're both, as they say, underwater. what do you think? >> well, perhaps that could work but it's an inconvenient time for romney to disappear given that there's this election in a few weeks. however, he does keep disappearing. he keeps leaving the campaign trail to do these fund-raisers. one asks again what are they thinking in boston, what are they doing in boston, why are they running the campaign this way? and in the end the campaign comes down to the candidate. i mean, you can't blame it on the consultants. you can't blame it on the people around him. tough hold the candidate accountable for the way the campaign is being run. >> to be fair, eugene, you have been holding him accountable
throughout all of your columns. >> i was just going to say mitt romney at this point might as well go down to the cayman islands where former president shall is appearing at an investor conference -- >> four days before the election. thanks very much for that, mr. bush. eugene robinson, jonathan alter, thank you both. next, the real case of voter fraud in the u.s. guess whose hands have been caught in the cookie car? you won't believe it. stay with us. >> once you isolate voters who are extremely interested in the election, the race is much closer. >> yes. much closer among the extremely interested. and romney's tied when you focus on the inexpressiblely intrigued, and he's up by two points when you count only voters who are psych psychotically engaged. otically engaged. are you ready ?
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the gop has finally done it. after years of baseless claims, they finally uncovered evidence of voter fraud. the only problem, they found it in-house. nbc's michael isikoff reports florida prosecutors are now investigating a firm hired to register gop voters and in at least four other key states but which may have padded the rolls with hundreds of questionable names in at least ten florida counties. joining us now in new york is my colleague toure, one of the hosts of "the cycle" and in washington michael eric dyson, a professor at georgetown university and an esteemed msnbc
political analyst. thank you both. toure, i guess it's be careful what you hope for today. >> sure. look, this is an ideology that's not selling well in terms of being the party of the rich during a recession, right? the brand is losing steam within america. so what do we do? let's depress the number of voters. let's keep people from voting. this has spread since 2008 in republican controlled legislatures. this is why we're -- and we do a disservice to the audience in calling it voter i.d. we should just call it voter suppressi suppression. that's what they're doing. you kind of see the guilt about voter suppression happening in this week when this new -- that the liberal media is spreading false polls went to suppress gop votes. why are they talking about liberals trying to suppress and depress them when they are actually passing laws trying to suppress our votes? >> indeed. in 33 states no less have they attempted this. professor dieson -- dyson let me
play you the official republican response. take a listen. >> it's totally different. we at this point have an allegation, that mere allegation has caused us to act, act swiftly and boldly and sever or tie was this firm because we have a zero tolerance when it comes to this. the other side clearly engaged for a long time in inappropriate behavior. we don't believe that that's appropriate and we wanted to make a swift and bold action to illustrate that. >> professor dyson, he's saying this scandal is different because democrats do this all the time. i mean, you have to give it to mr. spicer. he knows how to stick to a script, doesn't he? >> he said he wasn't chastened, but he is. he's out chasing more votes somewhere else. he's not chasing them where he had them before. the reality is that this is the flagrant disregard for truth that is so typical of right wing ideology. the inability to see a mirror. the inability to acknowledge that, look, we might have made some mistakes and this is wrong. the reason they can't admit that
because their entire trust is not about the manipulation of rhetoric for the purposes of defending their good. it's about suppressing the vote among people they don't want to come to the polls, and this is typical of the republican or at least the right wing approach. we say that we are ostensibly committed to the notion that all people should be in, that the franchise should be expanded, that the stakeholders should be expanded, and everybody who wants to participate should participate except for the fact that we don't want those folk on the other side participating. we don't want to win the battle fair and square. what we want to do is rig it, so the very things they accuse of others they are practicing themselves. it's like hearing a preacher in the pulpit hit on one theme sunday after sunday because that preacher is himself struggling with the very sin with which he's accusing the congregation. >> amen. >> this i think is what's going on here. >> look, we should be having registration be automatic. we should have voting day be a holiday. remove all possible implementation of voting. >> that's not what republicans
want, my friend. >> no. the republicans are good for solutions to nonproblems because in person voting fraud is not a problem but we have to solve it. >> indeed. now, i want to play both of you how rush limbaugh framed voter fraud just three weeks ago, and it's actually quite similar to what you heard mr. spicer say just now but with something at the end. take a listen. >> to what extent do you think illegal voting will be a factor in the upcoming election. >> i don't know to what extent it will occur, but i do know the democrats are counting on it and want it to happen. they want the option to cheat. >> and i suppose that's why they want all these illegals into the country, you know? >> damn right. >> wow. >> so i suppose that's what they want, these damn illegals into the country. you know, damn right. is it any surprise that not many people from the latino community or from the african-american community are supporting mitt romney? >> no, absolutely. there's all sorts of policies
that are hostile to blacks, hostile to hispanics, hostile to gays, hostile to women. i mean, the party only seems to love corporations which it thinks are people and rich people. everybody else we don't care about you. didn't he say he didn't care about 47% of the country? >> i believe did he. >> i this i the percentage is a bit low. and once again we see the party is putting the party ahead of the country which we see with the entire obstruction strategy which should be a national scandal. >> professor, you have to repeat those words from that caller to mr. limbaugh and i suppose that's why they want all these illegals into the country. you know, damn right. he obviously doesn't realize this current president has been draconian in pursuit of illegal immigration, has spent more money, there are more border patrols on the ground, and yet somehow the caller says this to mr. limbaugh and his response, damn right. >> well, first of all, martin, you're confusing the matter here. you're dealing with the facts. you're dealing with that which is empirical.
it means i can verify or falsify a particular statement through my senses. how dare you appeal to truth? let's deal with the illusion here. there's a new book called "race craft." it's like witchcraft. the science has dismissed what the witchcraft held onto but people persist. the racial ideologies are being held to and now it's they, those peoples, blacks and latinos, a ba cal that's trying to undermine the process of democracy when the real deal is this president to the chagrin of many people on the left has deported more people and has been some would say hostile to the interests of expanding latino communities and now they're being seen as their protectors. again, the republicans articulate the exact opposite of what is the truth trying to convince us. thz an orwellian moment. this is 1984 except we're living in 2012 but we see the replication of such mendacity
going on apace. >> when we move into the alternate reality and the truths which exist within the gop bubble -- >> which is democrats are importing illegal immigrants to inflate the vote. >> if we try to apply logic within the alternate reality, we only get a headache. it doesn't work. >> what they appeal to are the implicit bigotries and biases of the peep out there. the facts contradict the very notions we're speaking about, but again why appeal to the fact? why appeal to what's actually going on if you can perpetuate a legacy of inequality by pretending that the stereotypes are true. unfortunately, rush limbaugh is a past master of that. >> i think it was helpful of mr. limbaugh for us to see he was actually smoking something during that interview. toor ray and professor michael eric sidyson. much more ahead. >> we know governor romney has been practicing for months. i think the invasion of normandy took ples preparation than he's putting into these debates. >> i have never been in a
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president and mr. netanyahu, this would be the perfect forum to showcase the enormous rift that republicans keep rooting for. but something funny happened on the way to turtle bay. take a listen. >> two days ago from this podium president obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear armed iran cannot be contained. i very much appreciate the president's position, as does everyone in my country. >> that must have been a big hit with mr. romney's boston brain trust. all year long they have been mapping out the narrative on foreign policy, endless ll lly portraying the president as anti-israel. all they needed was a little third party cover and look what happened. unfortunately for poor mr. romney, it's only going to get worse as more people pick up on his oft repeated line and finally start calling it what it
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shelden adelson got the front row. >> angel is in the policy. >> specifics coming out of our eyeballs. >> does he think it's fair? he pays a lower tax rate than somebody making $50,000. >> it's the right way to encourage economic growth. you grow an economy from the middle out, not from the top down. >> one thing he did not do in his first four years, just to raise taxes. >> it's time for a new economic patriotism. >> you were lucky enough to attend cran brook. >> you wear crummy shoes. people notice. >> we should measure compassion by how many people are able to get off welfare. i got everybody in my state insured. i don't think there's anything that shows more empathy and care. >> teach a man how to fish. >> my heart aches for the people i have seen. >> don't simply feed fish. >> every now and then i'm known to make a mistake. >> we throw our own penalty flag at mr. romney and mr. ryan. >> romney, ryan, romney, ryan. >> so that people don't get
tired of her. >> when you go after my man -- >> stop it, this is hard. you want to try, it get in the ring. >> was i a little strong? >> never apologize for america. >> people will call my awful things every day. there are going to be bumps in the road. >> what's with the wily coyote nuclear bomb? >> 90 minute attack ad. >> president is obviously a very eloquent and gifted speaker. >> i would have, bam. >> i have neve been in a presidential debate like this. >> let's get right to our panel now. we're joined by democratic strategist julian epstein, michelle cottle, washington correspondent for "newsweek" and the daily beast, and michael krouly who is "time's" washington bureau sheaf. allow me to read to you if i may part of a statement from beth myers. she says the president is a universally acclaimed public speaker. it's clear he will use his ample rhetorical gifts and debating experience to one end, attacking
mitt romney. i have to say, julian, that sounds suspiciously flattering to me. ten minutes ago they were saying the president apologizes to terrorists, can't read a balance sheet, and wouldn't know gdp from his acl. now he's the finest orator since winston churchill. >> this is a really time-worn tactic to lower the expectations before the debate so that romney can claim that he did halfway decent against obama. >> julian, you sound bored even saying the sentence, a time-worn -- >> i think the campaign is starting to get boring as, beca as i say, the republicans just won't bring the "a" game. it fits into the larger narrative of incompetence on the part of the romney campaign. they're unable by everybody's reckoning to run a good campaign. romney is unable to utter anything of great significance when it comes to campaign. and now they're saying he's not ready for the grand stage when it comes to competing against obama. i mean, i have seen more
competence in nfl replacement refs than i do in this campaign. >> we're looking at two individuals behind mr. romney and they look extremely bored. michael, senator john kerry is playing the president's sparring partner. the role of mitt romney, as he prepares for next week's debate. andrea mitchell asked him earlier about that memo from beth mye. rs. here is what mr. kerry had to say. >> please, please, please, give me 20 breaks, not just one. the fact is that mitt romney is a very good debater. he's practiced and practiced and practiced and practiced. this is the biggest deal in the world to him. >> he's right, isn't he? because mr. romney obviously has a lot more time to devote to debate practice than the president does and i expect it could be edadvantageous for mr. romney. >> well, i guess the other thing is romney has debated how many primary debates? about 20?
it was ludicrous. so he's had a lot of time -- >> to be fair, michael, he wasn't debating figures of einstein intelligence. >> that's right. and a couple other differences, a one-on-one debate is very different than that clown car of, you know, 12 people coming out on the stage and the other is that in those primary debates, you know, people were really dueling to say that the harshest, toughest thing about president obama to really denounce him. i think you had to be more respectful in a one-on-one debate and you also have a different audience. it's not kind of a conservative republican audience. so he will be in a different environment. but, you know, that said, i think the pressure is really on romney, the stakes are higher, and so i think that -- i don't know about expectations for how he's going to perform. i just know i would rather be obama because obama has a lead, status quo. romney has to go in there feeling like he has to land some punches. obama just has to get out alive. >> michelle, in your latest article for the daily beast, you say that the stakes could not be higher as mike was saying for
mr. romney. in fact, you say that unless mr. romney hits it out of the park on wednesday, his dreams of sitting in the oval office could be, i'm quoting you, deader than disco. couldn't he come back in week two, much as people like me who love nothing more than hearing the ojs or the temptations even today. >> it's not mee who thinks that denver is a do or die situation. we're talking about republicans who have been out there saying he really has to nail this. people have been waiting for him to have his break-through moment. there are very few opportunities going forward. republican donors and republican -- other elected officials are getting very nervous, and if he doesn't make a great showing in denver, it's going to be trouble for him, and the problem is his team has raised expectations really high. beth my esmth rs memo is a complete turn around from before when they were saying we're going to win, we're ready, five mock debates in two days, we're just practicing go, go, go, go,
go. they have helped raise expectations so high that i'm not sure how he actually lives up to those. >> julian, would it be a miracle if romney gets through 90 minutes of a debate without insulting half the population or tripping over so many of the things that he said in this campaign which are in direct contradiction to things that he believed 15 minutes prior to? >> that's right. the best attack ad on romney is mitt romney. to pick up on michael and michelle's point, what is romney going to come with in the campaign to have a good showing? he can't talk about taxes with tacks being the lowest they have been in 50 years. he can't talk about medicaid and medicare because their policies are unpopular. he can't talk about foreign policy, he doesn't have anything. the only thing he can argue is that obama has not been a good steward of the economy, but as we know, obama has a very good answer to that. and that's on offense. then you think about what he has to do on defense. he's going to be on the defense on the 47%. he's going to be on defense on his tax question. i mean, this is a guy who
doesn't have very much to work with at this point. so it's hard for me to see, even if he doesn't make a major gaffe, which he does on a weekly basis, even if he doesn't, what ammunition does he have to actually have a good showing? >> i'm told there are examples of elections turning on debates, president bush for example started gaining on al gore when they faced off in 2000. is it usually the case that debates are quite the kind of game-changer that everybody thinks this one has to be for romney to do anything successfully in november? >> no, it's not. the historical data shows that i think we sort of exaggerate the role of debates. i would tip my hat to the washington monthly that has a nice article that goes through some of the political science and polling on this. it says they have a marginal impact. one notable exception was the 2000 debates between bush and gore where it appears gore pllo two or three points after those debates. we remember how close it was, it could be significant. this race may very well be
decided by a handful of points. two or three-point difference could be very consequential, but historically speaking the debates have not been that significant. by the way, i would make one other point, i think john kerry has been a good prep opponent for obama because i actually think that romney has a problem on stages in these situations similar toi kerry's which is hi diction is weird. he doesn't talk like an ordinary person. i think that's a prub for him. i think it's an advantage for obama and i think debating someone like john kerry who has this sort of tortured stener toian way of talking will get him in the right groove. >> michelle s that because what romney is doing when he's debating publicly is actually hiding his genuine personality and trying to perform as someone else? >> well, i don't know that he's hiding a genuine personality. we're not entirely clear what his genuine personality but he
also just doesn't have a central message. when you are debating it is kind of what every debate expert will tell you is you need a central, clear message. you don't need to approach it like a game of jeopardy. you don't need to come out with too much kind of data even. you need to have something that you can convey very easily and clearly, and it is not clear what mitt romney is trying to convey in any of these situations. >> well, don't worry, he's only been running for six years. michelle cottle, julian ep seen and michael crowley thank you on the possible last days of disco. our thanks to all of you. next, it's amazing what you learn when mitt romney gets testy. stay with us. >> i'm not going to send money to pbs, not going to send money to the national center or the national endowment for humanities and arts. >> that doesn't add up to much, governor. are there some other -- >> i'm happy to keep going, julie, okay? ♪
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mitt romney is the artful dodger when it comes to providing specific details on how he plans to fix the economy, but it was bill clinton who cornered the candidate with just one word, arithmetic, arguing that his plan just doesn't add up. but if you dare call him out on it, watch out. >> so i'm not going to send money to amtrak. i'm not going to send money to pbs. not going to send money to the national center -- or the national endowment for humanities and arts. >> that doesn't add up to much, governor. >> i'm happy to keep going, julie, okay? >> as for middle class americans who believe that will translate into big tax cuts, well, mr. romney has some bad news for you. >> by the way, don't be expecting a huge cut in taxes because i'm also going to lower deductions and exemptions, but by bringing rates down, we'll be able to let small businesses keep more of their money so they can hire more people. >> jared bernstein is an msnbc
contributor and former chief economic policy to the vice president. it's great to have you in person, jared. can you explain something to me because this sounds to me like a game of smoke and mirrors. on the one hand he says he's going to reduce everyone's taxes by 20%. >> right. >> on the other hand, he's going to cut deductions like what? he won't say. but let's assume he's going to cut things like the mortgage interest deduction, charitable contribution deduction, doesn't that mean ultimately we end up paying the same amount? >> right. so, by the way, those tax cuts you just mentioned are an extremely difficult political lift, but put that aside for a minute. you're absolutely right. the problem that governor romney is having is with arithmetic in the following sense. he says he will do three things, cut tax rates 20%, as you said, keep the budget deficit from getting larger, and protect the middle class from any tax increases. well, look, if you're going to cut taxes and you're going to be revenue neutral about it, that
is not increase the budget deficit, that means somebody is going to have to pay more to offset the fact that somebody is paying less. >> and who is going to pay more? >> well, what mitt romney initially said was that we will just -- we'll get that from the top 1%. we'll get that from wealthy folks. well, that's where the arithmetic comes in. if you look at all of the deductions, you sum them all up, every single tax deduction going to those high-end folk, they don't make up the difference. it's not enough to offset the rate cuts. so you'd have to go to the middle class. >> okay. well, ryan and romney are fond of bragging about how they'll be tough on issues. once again we give you the candidate. >> we'll also take medicaid as well as housing and food stamps, we'll take the dollars that are going in those programs, return them to the states where they'll grow at the rate of inflation or in the case of medicaid, inflation plus 1%. that saves a hundred billion dollars a year. >> i'm sorry to be simple about this, but we currently have federal agency that is provide
these. is he saying that every single state is somehow supposed to not only take on the burden of dispensing that money but also the burden of administering these programs? >> yeah. he's talking about something called block grants, and that means that instead of the federal government reacting to a recession, for example, and expanding unemployment insurance, food stamps, the kinds of programs that he was just mentioning, it's now going to be a set amount of resources, a set amount of money every year. so when you hit a recession, what did we just see in the great recession? medicaid spending had to go way up, food stamps, unemployment insurance. he's telling you he's going to save billions of dollars by taking out the very important counter cyclical function, that is the ability of these programs to expand in recession. he's talking about really undermining the safety net. >> so you're saying that it's not only incoherent arit matically, it's also callous psychological and socially.
>> that's very well put. it's carving a huge hole in our safety net. >> okay. i want to ask you about the new jobs numbers that came out yesterday from the department of labor because it seems that we'd underestimated job growth by something like 386,000. does this mean, therefore, that this president has now replaced all of the jobs that were lost under his tenure during this recession? >> right. i mean, what this tells you is that there has been now some slight net job gain under the president's tenure. i mean, i think it's a close call. frankly, you know, getting back to zero isn't exactly the kind of labor market that we need, but there's no -- >> except when you look at how the economy cratered then -- >> exactly. >> -- this is an achievement, isn't it? >> this is the thing i keep trying to explain to people. there's a big difference between sailing into a storm and sailing out of a storm when it comes to the economy's momentum, and these numbers do underscore the president's point that things are improving.
i'd say too slowly, we need to do more to add to that job growth, but no question that directionally that's where you want to be headed. >> jared bernstein, thank you so much, jared, for coming in to our studio. neck, the president gets set to hit a desert retreat for some debate preparation of his own. stay with us. [ male announcer ] when a major hospital wanted to provide better employee benefits to hit a desert retreat for some debate preparation of his own. stay with us. [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. [ yawning sound ] droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ? droid does. with verizon, america's largest 4g lte network, and motorola, droid does.
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mitt romney has been preparing for next week's first presidential debate since june. that hasn't stopped him from saying ohio senator rob portman is doing such a good job playing president obama in mock debates that romney is developing a sincere dislike for mr. portman. how kind. nbc's mike viqueira is live at the white house. senator john kerry will play the role of mitt romney in the president's retreat in nevada this weekend. what more is the white house saying about the president's preparations? any details? >> reporter: not much. first of all, that rob portman, he really does it all, martin. but the president, to get your
viewers up to date, just spent about two hours over on ivy street, just south of the capitol, at the democratic national committee headquarters doing some debate prep. we can presume that john kerry was there. let's look at john kerry's experience in this kind of setting. just go beyond the 2004 debates with then-president bush when john kerry was the democratic challenger. he had a series of debates way back in 1996 when he was a sitting senator with another republican governor of massachusetts who was trying to unseat kerry. his name was bill well. they had three debates actually that were epic in scale. so john kerry is clearly battle tested. the president is going to go to ground. he's had some fund-raisers. he just finished one. he's on his way to senator jay rockefeller's house but on sunday he heads to hend henders nevada. they don't want to be in d.c. for this debate camp as we're calling it around here. training at altitude in nevada,
preparing for wednesday night in denver when so much is on the line, martin. >> sounds like a boxing match. nbc's mike viqueira, thank you, sir. we'll be right back to "clear the air." [ female announcer ] born from the naturally sweet monk fruit, something this delicious could only come from nature. now from the maker of splenda sweeteners, discover nectresse. the only 100% natural, no-calorie sweetener
it's time now to "clear the air." and this week has been extremely instructive in terms of foreign policy and the presidential election. for their part, the romney/ryan ticket continues to offer a form of naive belidge rens and outright bluster. >> i think the president on too many occasions has deferred our foreign policy leadership to the u.n. security council, to the u.n. >> egypt now with the muslim brotherhood president, pakistan highly tumultuous. >> as you can see, it's hard to get anything from these two,
aside from their now redundant talking points. and it really wouldn't matter if this was just a televised debate before one of the republican primaries. but it isn't. these two want to occupy the global stage. for the president, on the other hand, this week was fraught with political land mines as he prepared to address the u.n. and here is how he decided to address the issue of iran and its nuclear ambitions. >> so let me be clear, america wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy and we believe that there is still time and space to do so, but that time is not unlimited. >> that is what international diplomacy looks like in these difficult treacherous times. but when i hear mr. romney speak about foreign affairs, i'm reminded of the words of shakespeare's mcbeth. it sounds like "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
thank you so much for watching. thank you for watching all week. we appreciate each of your attention. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. romney versus ryan, the divorce. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with mr. romney's divorce. why did he pick paul ryan for his running mate? certainly not for better or worse. mitt spends his days and nights acting as if he's out there all alone, that he never hooked up with ryan if the first place. i get it. romney doesn't want to get dragged down by his political mate's push for getting rid of medicare. he acts like ryan has no hold on him, but it's not the way it works. romney has slowly gotten the word that the voter out there thought the two had things worked out, that romney andya